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Merkel, Jewish Leaders Discuss Muslim Relations

Chancellor Merkel is seeking to improve relations with the Muslim world (file photo) (AFP) 24 January 2006 -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has met with the head of the World Jewish Congress for talks on ways to increase dialogue with the Muslim world.

Rabbi Israel Singer said he asked Merkel to make speaking with Muslim leaders a priority.

Singer said he and Merkel also discussed recent anti-Israeli remarks made by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. In recent weeks, Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and claimed the Holocaust is a fabrication.

Singer is touring European capitals this week to seek support for a program that will stimulate dialogue with Islamic leaders.


Islam In A Pluralistic World

Islam In A Pluralistic World

A Muslim woman (left) watches a Christian procession in Madrid in March (AFP)


CONFERENCE ON ISLAM: A major international conference on Islam concluded in Vienna in November 2005 with strong appeals from prominent Muslim leaders to recognize international terrorism as simply "terrorism." Political figures from Islamic countries, including the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan, argued that it should never be labeled "Islamic" or "Muslim" terrorism because Islam is based on peace, dialogue, and tolerance. "Salaam" -- meaning "peace" -- was the key word of the three-day conference, titled "ISLAM IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD."
Iraqi President Jalal Talibani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai used the word in their remarks to emphasize the peaceful nature of Islam. Other speakers quoted passages from the Koran to the effect that all men and women, regardless of faith, are creatures of God and should live in peace with each other without discrimination...(more)


Listen to Afghan President HAMID KARZAI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media


Listen to UN special envoy LAKHDAR BRAHIMI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media

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